“Bob is still working at the studio, and we hope he will stay here for the rest of his natural life.”
That’s a quote from the general manager of Pixar about Bob Peterson, reported in conjunction with the news that Pixar has done yet another director-swap on one of its films a year from release. Bob Peterson, director of The Good Dinosaur, will join the ranks of Jan Pinkava, Brad Lewis, and Brenda Chapman that have all also found themselves ousted from their director’s chairs at the animation studio (on Ratatouille, Cars 2, and Brave respectively).
Peterson was not present for the film’s presentation at the D23 conference earlier in August, so this isn’t spectacularly surprising news or anything. What’s interesting is that Pixar has not actually replaced Peterson, so much as put an interim council or sorts in to replace him. Said “council” is made up of studio head John Lasseter, Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, ultimate Brave director Mark Andrews, and the original co-director of the film, Peter Sohn (who was not a co-director in the traditional sense- more of a “vice director”).
This really does mean much for fans, as director replacements don’t spell doom or success for a project. It’s still hard to convince me that Ratatouille is not Pixar’s best film, and that weathered a pretty big director change. Was Cars 2 ever going to be salvageable? I don’t know that we can blame any changes at the top for that one. And, frankly, I probably have a much higher opinion of Brave than you do, so we’ll call that one a draw.
Pixar President Ed Catmull had this to say on the subject:
“All directors get really deep in their film. Sometimes you just need a different perspective to get the idea out. Sometimes directors … are so deeply embedded in their ideas it actually takes someone else to finish it up. I would go so far as to argue that a lot of live-action films would be better off with that same process.”
That’s reads to me like a very nice way of saying,”yeah, Mr. Peterson was fucking things up and needed to be replaced, but we still love ’em.” Hopefully things aren’t too nasty, considering the quote at the top, and the fact that Peterson co-directed one of the studio’s most beloved films, UP.
The film will still be released on May 30th, 2014. It stars Lucas Neff, John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, Neil Patrick Harris, Judy Greer, and Bill Hader in a story about the world as it would be if an asteroid had never eradicated the dinosaurs.
Source | LA Times